How to tell if your lawn needs lime: useful methods to check pH level and the need to lime lawn application for lush grass and lawn health

If the lawn grass began to turn yellow and overgrow with weeds, and fertilizers do not give any result, then lime is required. First, you need to conduct a special test to determine the acidity of the soil on the site. More details on how to tell if your lawn needs lime we describe in this article.

How to tell if your lawn needs lime

How to tell if your lawn needs lime, and what is lime in general?

Before proceeding to the question, of how to tell if your lawn needs lime, the very concept of “lime” should be defined. This is a special additive that is made from crushed limestone.

The composition contains calcium carbonate, which saturates the soil with calcium, and helps reduce soil acidity.

Lime is considered a natural product, which does not contain toxic substances.

Therefore, it can be used for various purposes in agriculture. If you are adding lime during lawn care, it can help improve the condition of your lawn.

There are several types of lime on market, which are often in demand among gardeners.

  1. Calcite lime. This is the standard lime most commonly used for lime treatment in agriculture. It contains the highest amount of calcium. So the lime treatment effectively helps fight the high acidity of the soil.
  2. Dolomitic lime. This type of lime contains a high concentration of magnesium carbonate. It also helps reduce the naturally acidic of your soil.

Signs that your lawn needs lime

Many people ask, how do I know if I need a lime? The main features that lawn needs lime we describe in more detail below.

Lime treatment against grass yellowness

As you know, for the proper growth of lawn grass, the acid-base pH balance of the soil should be in the range of 5.8-7. The lower the value, the higher the acidity value.

If there is too acidic soil, with low soil pH values, microbial activity is disrupted.

It becomes more and more difficult for plants to get nutrients from the soil. If the grass turns yellow or begins to die back in patches, or if growth is slow, lime is most likely required.

The acidic soil becomes due to several reasons over time.

The main one is that natural nutrients disappear from the soil due to the flow of water or the use of a certain type of lawn fertilizer.

If you do not do any soil amendment in the course of lawn care, however, you have noticed a strong struggle of the grass, most likely the soil acidity has increased. Therefore, you should think about lime treatment.

Lime treatment against weed infestation

Some types of weeds prefer to develop on acidic soil. The most obvious sign that the level of acid in the soil has increased is the growth of dandelions.

This species is considered the most common and aggressive.

If you notice that these types of weeds have begun to appear more and more on the site, you have to urgently apply lime. This quickly removes dandelions and other types of weeds from the lawn.

Lime treatment if there is no influence of fertilizers

Quite often, gardeners notice that soil nutrients do not reflect positively on the condition of the lawn. Indeed, in the process, the quality of the lawn deteriorates, and it begins to look unhealthy.

As you know, every gardener makes sure that there is a beautiful and lush lawn in the yard. After all, the aesthetics of the entire yard depends on it.

To stimulate growth, various kinds of fertilizers are often used. If the acidity is high, even a large amount of fertilizer does not help the grass bounce back.

An acidic environment blocks the ability of plants to collect nutrients.

If you additionally add amaranth, then the acidity increases even more. If fertilizers do not give any results, you must do the lime treatment.

The appearance of moss. Soil made of sand or clay

Moss also prefers to grow in acidic soil. You can find it in places where there is shade and moisture. If the moss began to move from the tree towards the lawn, then it is necessary to add lime.

Some types of ground have naturally acidic soil. In particular, there is sandy soil and clay soil. Clay soil considers naturally acidic soil.

And sandy soil promotes active water flow, which removes calcium and other substances necessary to adjust soil pH.

If the lawn was formed on one of these soils, lime is required. And it is better to do it with a certain interval.

The region receives a lot of rainfall

If your area gets a lot of rainfall in the winter, or if there are storms, it is likely that you have to apply a lot of lime.

Water leaches calcium and magnesium out of the soil, so acidity increases.

If a lot of precipitation has fallen over the past few years, lime must be prepared. This helps reduce acid levels.

Poor drought recovery

Often, it can draft stress to the lawn. If the site does not recover after heat or drought, then lime is required. Be sure to add additional nutrients when the site is restored.

How to check soil pH values?

If you notice at least one of the above signs on the site, you should begin to correct the situation.

Before you buy essential nutrients and apply them, it is recommended to check the soil’s pH.

Need for verification

If you check the acid-base balance of the soil, this solves several problems:

  1. Accurately understand whether it is necessary to apply lime to the site.
  2. Determination of the exact amount of lime.
  3. Setting a benchmark for future seasons so that you can see the result from the additions made.

Do you have acidic soil or not? Soil test: types

There are several methods due to you can make soil test:

  1. Soil pH test at home. To do this, you need to prepare special kits for testing. You can find them at the hardware store. They are often affordable and have reliable results. However, you need to understand that the soil test does not always show accurate results. Therefore, it is difficult to understand how much adding lime you need.
  2. Soil test in the agricultural department. To get more accurate information regarding the soil’s pH, you can give the soil for analysis to a special department that is in your area. The tests are inexpensive, and the results can be obtained fairly quickly.First, you need to find special institutions in your area and take a soil sample there. Often the cost of analysis is much cheaper than buying kits for home testing. On average, you can get results in 5-7 days.If there are no such institutions in your area, you can send samples to another place by mail. Yes, this increases the waiting time for results by a few days. However, you know exactly what type of soil is on the site, and whether liming is necessary.

How to understand that the lawn is sour

Several signs indicate that the soil pH of the site is quite low and that the lawn needs lime.

These include:

  • loss of green color;
  • difficulty recovering from extreme heat;
  • the appearance of moss;
  • poor lawn growth.

How to tell if your lawn needs lime?

If you notice all of the above signs on your lawn, then it needs to be limed. The liming process helps reduce soil acidity and also encourages grass growth.

After determining whether lime should be applied, the soil pH should be tested. To do this, you can use one of the methods that were described earlier.


When soil acidity rises, gardeners face a lot of questions. Detailed answers to them, we present below.

When should I put lime on my lawn?

The best time to start liming your lawn is in the fall or spring. However, most gardeners prefer to do work in the fall.

After all, precipitation in the form of rain and snow provokes the penetration of lime into the deep layers of the soil. So it works better.

How often should you put lime down on your lawn?

Questions often arise regarding the frequency of lime application. The indicators of acid-base balance begin to decline every 2-3 years.

It is with this frequency that liming should be carried out.

However, first, you need to accurately check the pH values. To do this, you can use special kits, or give a soil sample for testing.

Can you put too much lime on your lawn?

If you overdo it with lime, the acidity is reduced. However, alkali rates increase. This causes the yellowing of the lawn grass. This reduces its ability to absorb moisture and nutrients from the lower layers of the soil. That is why you need to carefully select the dosage.


As you can see, determining the need for liming is quite simple. You can simply observe the lawn, or conduct special tests. It is important to avoid situations where the pH drops below 6.5.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *